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Breast Cancer Patients Face Shortage Of Specialist Nurses

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Thousands of women with terminal breast cancer are "abandoned" and denied critical care because of the lack of specialist nurses in the United Kingdom. 

Lack Of Nurses

A charity called Breast Cancer Care reported that the National Health Service trust and health boards still could not provide ample support for people with late-stage breast cancer. The report comes three years after the government promised access to dedicated specialist nurses to all patients. 

"Our staggering findings reveal just how much NHS nursing care for people with incurable breast cancer has stagnated," stated Samia al Qadhi, the chief executive of Breast Cancer Care. 

The report found that around 72 percent of the NHS trust and health board do not provide dedicated specialist nurses for people who are living with incurable breast cancer. Although there has been a 7 percent increase in nursing support for patients with breast cancer in the past two years, it still is not enough. 

Surveyed patients say that people who have access to a dedicated specialist nurse are more likely to discuss their needs and concerns. 

"People living with incurable breast cancer tell us that access to a specialist nurse is the single most important aspect of their care and without it they feel isolated, forgotten and invisible," added al Qadhi. "So today's failings must not be swept under the carpet." 

The charity hopes that the report will force the government to ensure that everyone who needs a specialist nursing support has access to one. al Qadhi recommended that the government fund the recruitment and training of more specialist nurses. 

The report comes in time for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place every October. The Breast Cancer Care also revealed that 70 percent of hospital organizations do not conduct an assessment of people's emotional and physical needs right after they were handed their diagnosis. About 80 percent do not provide a summary of how a patient responded to the treatment. 

Breast Cancer In The United Kingdom

According to Cancer Research UK, a total of 55,122 people were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2015. There is about a 78 percent survival rate for women with the disease. 

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